Jump to content

ESPN: Serious Business

NY Jets Guy

Recommended Posts


Rex Grossman can't escape the pressure.

Despite playing in the Super Bowl last season, Grossman remains one of the league's most debated quarterbacks. He spent a lot of time in the offseason studying film. He has worked on his throwing mechanics. Teammates like him.

But Bears fans go crazy -- and not in a good way -- when he's on the field. Though he vowed to become a 60-percent passer in an offense that should have more weapons, Grossman took a few steps back this preseason. He'd fumble a snap or throw an interception

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8. Carolina Panthers at St. Louis Rams

Marc Bulger collected a $65 million contract because of his accuracy and leadership. There will be no doubt what he and Scott Linehan will attack in the opener: the Panthers' safeties. Mike Minter retired and Nate Salley has struggled with a minor knee injury. The Panthers probably will use Deke Cooper and Chris Harris as their safeties. The Rams have a long history of driving safeties crazy with play-action fakes and sending receivers into the middle of the field.

The Rams are loaded on offense. As if they didn't have enough with Torry Holt, Isaac Bruce and Steven Jackson, they added tight end Randy McMichael and wide receiver Drew Bennett. Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme hopes to bounce back from a tough 2006 season but he will doing it against a Jim Haslett-coached defense that loves to blitz.

9. Denver Broncos at Buffalo Bills

Sure, this has the chance of being an upset because the Broncos' defense is changing on the fly and the Bills are at home. The Bills are better on offense than people give them credit for. J.P. Losman is an accurate passer. He has weapons on offense, particularly wide receiver Lee Evans. He also has a good scheme directed by offensive coordinator Steve Fairchild. Mike Shanahan brought in six new players to the Broncos' defensive line, including Simeon Rice, Sam Adams and Alvin McKinley. The problem is getting them on the same page with so little time together.

On defense, though, you'd rather be the Broncos than the Bills. The Broncos added players. The Bills lost Takeo Spikes, London Fletcher and Nate Clements. The Bills have had trouble stopping the run, which could mean a 140-yard game for former Bill Travis Henry.

10. Detroit Lions at Oakland Raiders

This one is fascinating. The Raiders will go against the Lions with former Lions quarterback Josh McCown likely throwing passes and former Lions receiver Mike Williams being a role player, possibly in the red zone. Here's the other key element: The Raiders drafted JaMarcus Russell instead of wide receiver Calvin Johnson but haven't signed Russell. Now, Johnson gets an early chance to burn the Raiders.

The pressure is on the Raiders and Lane Kiffin to win home games against the Lions and Browns and get off to a good start. Kiffin hasn't announced his starting quarterback but expect it to be McCown. Kiffin gains or loses credibility in the locker room based on that decision. The key is winning. Kiffin needs to be right on this one.

John Clayton is a senior writer for ESPN.com.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...